Monday, November 30, 2009

Decorating for Christmas

Hello friends! How was Thanksgiving? Eat too much? I did...not just on Thursday, but the whole weekend. The brined turkey breasts came out super delicious! My husband's cranberry sauce was spectacular, and I must say the things I made were more than edible. I think the big hit was the butternut squash - sweet potato streusel casserole I made though. Believe it or not, the recipe was from the BJ's magazine. They've had some winners...I also have an apple cake recipe from there that I make every autumn!

On Friday, the kids and I took down the fall decorations and got out the Christmas ones. The house has donned its gay apparel! Then once the school bus came this morning, I strolled around Christmas Tree Shops and got a few more things to fill in...

Do you like bottle brush trees? I love the retro-y look to them. I saw these red ones and had to have them. You can't really tell from my dark picture (it's rainy today ☂), but they're glittery. I added the tan gingham ribbon from my humongous modest ribbon collection (I'll have to show you that someday). And I adore these cute little wood boxes. The tree ornaments are from Hobby Lobby, they're going into the teachers' makeup bags I made.

Look at this sweet felt bag! Just $1.99, so I got two for teacher assistant gift bags. Cute huh?

This is my favorite new addition. It's a wooden angel with metal wings and homespun and wood trims. You can see that I haven't "poofed" it up yet...but it is sitting right next to the fireplace already. I love stuff like this.

This is a painted wooden box I had gotten there a few weeks ago...I just added some faux pine branches and voila! Instant decor! LOL

Remember I was telling you about the 12 days of Christmas banner I made earlier this year? Well, I hung it up on the coat closet it is...

It took me quite a while to make...those pears were a pain in the you-know-what...but it's done and I love it! As far as current projects, I'm working on that wool project I mentioned. I went to a quilt shop today at which I NEVER have any luck...and today was no exception! I needed a spool of aged black Valdani thread...nope. They had bright green, bright purple...but no black. Good times.

This is the current view in my foyer. I think this needs to be changed around but here it is, decorated kind of hastily...

And now my friends, it's time for me to go and eat lunch. Not turkey though!

♥ Jen

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Almost Thanksgiving!

Just a couple of days until Thanksgiving! Are you ready? I'm not! LOL Well, I did bake two pies and pumpkin. Tomorrow (Wednesday) is the big cooking sister Karen has contributed several recipes to my annual Thanksgiving menu, including make-ahead mashed potatoes and slow-cooker stuffing. They free up my time and oven space on Thursday! I've got a new recipe this year, butternut squash streusel, it looks yummy. I'm trying something else new this year...I'm not making a whole turkey. Besides us, we're just having two others and most of us like white meat, so I'm cooking two honey-brined turkey breasts. They're pre-brined by Wegmans. I've heard they're delicious so I have high hopes! My only concern is GRAVY. What will I use for pan drippings?

So the kids will be home tomorrow...that means I will have limited computer time, LOL. Since I'm sure we'll all be busy let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. I intend to look around my table and thank God for my many blessings. I am always thankful for them, but it's nice to have a whole day dedicated to acknowledging what is truly important in life.

Have a good one!
♥ Jen

Friday, November 20, 2009

Katie's quilt

Hello and Happy Friday, friends! Having a good day? Sorry I didn't get to post yesterday...the little guy came home from school on Wednesday feeling fine...then got sick right before dinner and several more times during the evening. He was ok yesterday but of course I kept him home. We spent the day playing, reading, drawing, etc. He's "100 percent better" today, so he says. ☀ So far the rest of us are okay!

So here are some pictures of the quilt I made for my niece, Katie. She is a sweet 11-year old who I just love to pieces. Unfortunately we don't live near each other, so hopefully when she snuggles with this she'll think of her family who loves her in Syracuse.

I used Urban Chiks' "Sweet" Fabric for this--a jelly roll, some yardage, a few charms and one or two fabrics that seemed to match. The binding is a nice pinky-red, also from Sweet. I also made a matching pillow...

The blue polka-dot fabric is from Bunny Hill...I used that for the backing as well.

And here's the label that I embroidered...

The pattern is from an issue of "Quilts and More" from earlier this year. I quilted it with a square around each center bird-fabric square, then diagonal lines connecting the squares. I was hoping to highlight the center of each block since it is a rather busy quilt. I do love it, and I hope she does too!!

I got this from Fat Quarter Shop yesterday...

I love This and That patterns. I have a couple of them already that I make again and again. One is the  Abby's Treasure Box that I'm for sure Sharon turned me on to. It's such a fun-sized bag that is perfect for makeup and such. So I'm looking forward to starting this one. I also got this wool kit in the mail from Karen...

Can't really say what the pattern is...Christmas is coming, you know...but the wools and silk matka background are yummy! Gotta get started on this one!

Have a wonderful weekend people!!

♥ Jen

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Primitive chic?

Do you have different decorating/fabric preferences? What I mean is, do you like more than one kind? For the most part, I lean toward country/primitive color and decorating schemes, as you can see...

This is the top of the hutch in my morning room. Golds and greens, distressed finishes, and primitive doo-dads.

Here is what is currently on my foyer table. Note to self, turn lights off before photographing. Anyway, if you can see, I have a pennyrug tray which I just love, a grubby candle in a trencher with primitive potpourri, and other country fixins.

I got this cutie at Christmas Tree Shops....also pretty country, rustic, etc. And there's no denying the country-ness of these little guys...

Oh yup, I love me some primitve goodies. That goes for fabrics too. I love country-color quilts, table mats, runners, etc. Here's a little sample of some that I have...

I made a sweet "12 Days of Christmas" wall-hanging earlier in the year with most of these fabrics. I'll show that once I get the holiday decorations out. Also, that gold there covers a few pillows on my family room couch. Monica, do you see that runner underneath? That's the one I got from Gooseberry Patch.

I do have another color side, though. Oh yes I do. I love Shabby Chic pinks, creamy whites, greens and yellows. Check out these...

You've got your Darla, Sweet, Bunny Hill, Lakehouse...all those pretty romantic collections.

And remember this baby..

So I'm wondering, is this common, to love two very different color combos? What are your thoughts?

This is a long post, isn't it? Tomorrow I'll show the quilt that's going to my niece for Christmas. That is certainly in the pinky realm.

♥ Jen

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fun little weekend

There are my quilty peeps! You know, I really don't have any quilty buddies in "real life"...I know, AWWWW! :-) My friends are all wonderful people but they lack the quilting gene. But that's okay, I have my bloggy buds! So let's see, what's been going on around here? I am still working on my "secret Christmas project," but now that it's coming to an end I'm thinking I might save it for another gift...the jury is still out. Here's a sneaky-peeky:

It's embroidered, obviously, and I do love to do hand work. It's a nice change from standing at the cutting mat or wrestling with the sewing machine. Annabelle even took an interest yesterday and did a few stitches for me! That was a big shock  because she usually starts snoring loudly whenever I talk about sewing. :-) I know, and she's only 8! Secretly I think she likes it though. She was so funny this weekend. We spent a few hours together yesterday, just the two of us. Mason went to a birthday party at a bounce-house place at a local mall, so us girls spent the two hours hanging out, shopping, eating, etc. She's discovered the store "Justice" and loudly asked Santa in the middle of the store if he would bring one of everything this year. No, Santa wasn't there, she just yelled up to the ceiling. LOL

Such a sweetheart! ♥

Ok, moving on...hey, do you have this Christmas book by Connie Duran? It's called "Quilted Projects for a Country Christmas." I've taken it out of the library a few times and I love it. It's got the cutest projects...stitcheries, dish towels, table runners, etc. Anyway I was at Christmas Tree Shops (my favorite store) last week and they had this book for $1.69! On Amazon it's $27.95. I was so excited. So now I have my very own copy! Now I just have to decide what to make...hmmm...

Today is my nephew Max's birthday...I can't believe he's 9! Seems like just yesterday he was born. *sigh* Now I feel old for saying that. LOL I'm going to go give him a call now...I'll leave you with a picture of a favorite little corner of my dining room sewing room. What is sweeter than a couple of canning jars of buttons, I ask you...?

Have a good one!
xxxooo Jen

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Baking, sewing and stuff

Today is a 1/2 day for the kids (tomorrow too), because of parent-teacher conferences. So they'll be home in a little bit...after being home yesterday for Veterans' Day. Annabelle wasn't feeling well on Wednesday...she had a tummyache and a fever in the morning, but by the afternoon she was doing a lot better. They had their annual physicals and they both got good reports (besides Annabelle's "mild virus"). Brag alert! Both kids got *awesome* report cards! Dave and I are so proud. :-) So P/T conferences should go well.

On Tuesday I was in a baking mood, so I made a "pumpkin coffee cake," from Gooseberry Patch's Pumpkin cookbook-let.

It came out yummy! Since it was big (13"x9"), I put 1/2 in the'll be good for Thanksgiving morning breakfast. That's nonstick foil I lined the pan with. Do you do that? It is my favorite tip. Then you can just lift the whole cake out at once and then slice it. Also, use a plastic knife to cut anything like this...there's no sticking and no crumbs! Try it for brownies, cakes, etc. Works great!

Then yesterday I got to work making Christmas gifts for teachers. I think Sharon introduced me to this pattern (?)...I've made bunches of these little makeup bags and they are FUN to make! Quick, easy, and you can be as creative as you want.

The top bag I made out of leftover quilt blocks. Love repurposing fabric...and I think it's as cute as can be! I did use some of my coveted Lakehouse Doll Dresses fabric for the bottom...for the top and the back, oops, didn't take a picture of that...but not much. :-) The bottom blue polka dot fabric is from Bunny Hill, I've used that in so many projects and I love it every time!

This afternoon, Annabelle has an eye doctor appointment. She wears glasses and we've noticed that she's been squinting to look at the tv, etc. even with them on. So probably a new prescription is in order. I'd love to stop by Joann's on the way's just across the street from the opthamologist...but I think the kids would rather eat rusty nails than do that. Oh well, maybe tomorrow a.m.

Later all! Have a great day!

xxxooo Jen

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I heart Gooseberry Patch

Do you love Gooseberry Patch cookbooks? I do! In fact, one of my recipes was even featured in one. It's called, "Easy Chicken and Mushrooms," and it's in the Harvest Kitchen one that came out last fall.

I was (and still am!) so excited that they chose my recipe...of course I don't blame them, it's a good one. :-) LOL Anyway, GP has a blog now, click here to pop in! They have contests a lot, including the "inspiration" for this post!


xxxooo Jen

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bunny Hill BOM

Good Monday morning! Well, I just looked at the clock and it's 12:09pm, but I was close! :-) Did everyone have a nice weekend? Mine was good...the weather was absolutely gorgeous. And today is getting up to 70. I've got the windows open and it smells like Spring!

So I finished up my Bunny Hill November it is...

I tell you, I have so enjoyed working on this block-of-the-month quilt. I am hoping Anne will start a new one next year because I hate to see it end! I still have to pick out sashing and such...and I'm a little nervous about putting it all together because I don't want to screw it up. I've used lots of different styles of fabrics so I have no idea what will work to tie it all together. Check out my Flickr group if you want to see what my blocks look like...and of course, if you have any suggestions for sashing I'd love to hear them!

The family and I went bowling yesterday, since Mason's cold was better. I totally stink. Since I'm left-handed, I blame it on the right-handed balls. LOL We had fun though. Dave was kind enough to get up at six with Mason yesterday so I slept until 8:30! Wow was that nice. I felt sooo well-rested!

OK, have a wonderful day...I'm going to get outside and enjoy this beautiful fall!

xxxooo Jen

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cozy weekend

Hello friends! I hope everyone is having a nice weekend. It was 28 degrees when I got up at 6 this morning...brrr! Mason and I snuggled on the couch and watched DVR'd episodes of The Mr. Men Show. Did you know that it's Holiday Open House weekend at Hallmark stores? Went there today, they have got some *cute* stuff. I got a Christmas countdown cookie sheet  magnet set, normally $14.95 for $9.95. There were snacks, Christmas music...really puts you in the mood!

Then my Piperlime order came...look at these HOT shoes!

They were on sale for $24.99! Dave says they are not "cute," they're "hot," but I still think of them as cute. And hot. :-)

So what else? Mason has a cold so our plans to go bowling have been put on hold. Hopefully tomorrow. It's supposed to be nice and warm then though, it would be a good day to spend outside. Yesterday we had SNOW! I tried to take a picture for you but I couldn't get a good shot. Sorry! Take my word for it, it was really coming down!

OK, my coffee's done brewing so I have to go...nothing worse than old coffee, am I right? LOL

xxxooo Jen

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christmas quilt

My Christmas quilt is now officially done! I finished the binding and washed it yesterday, and the kids and I gave it the snuggle test last night. It works! :-)

I really love these Sheri Berry fabrics. Dave wondered why it's not red and green if it's a Christmas quilt. When I said that it's "non-traditional," he asked who I am and what have I done with his wife. LOL I don't know, there's something about aquas and pinks that I just love for the holidays. I'm not going to decorate my whole house in it but it's just so fresh and fun!

My favorite part of this quilt was making the pinwheel corner blocks. I think I'm going to try a whole quilt of pinwheels. I've got a bunch of 30s prints that I think would be perfect.

Now I'm working on a top secret Christmas gift. I'll show that another time. Meanwhile I really need a fall runner. I had a Halloween one out but of course that's gone I have any autumn fabrics left? Better go delve into my stash....

I'll come up for air later!

xxxooo Jen

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Score at Joann's

Good morning! I hope everyone is doing well today! It's a beautiful day here...the sun is shining and it's crisp and cool. I love the fall!

I went to Joann's this morning...we have a little one right near me, but I took the trip to the superstore because I wanted to get some variegated thread that they only have there. Here's my loot!

I got two spools of thread, one in red/white/blues and another in country colors. While I was there, I had to check out the flannel (that was on sale for $2.99/yd) and look at the cute prints!!

I have that top one in pink, and it cost considerably more online. Ok, I know what you're thinking...flannel was giving me problems before on this quilt...

...but it is just so cozy, I'll just have to deal.  That binding is almost done,  by the way.

The 60-degreee triangle ruler was 40% off, and I plan to use that with this pattern:

I want to use some jelly rolls for that one. I'm thinking of making it for my nephew but I'm waiting to find some good masculine fabric...maybe red/white/blue would be good. What do you think?

Off to do some laundry!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hello all and Happy November! You may have noticed that I changed the look of my blog to something more autumnal instead of strictly Halloween-y. Speaking of Halloween, how was it? We had a great day. Spent the afternoon carving pumpkins...

Yes, Annabelle is in her pjs...she would stay in them all day if she could! That's me with her. Here are the finished works of art(!)

The day before was the kids' Halloween parties and parade at school. Mason was a skeleton and Annabelle was a pirate.

Ok, back to Mason is getting ready...

And our traditional photo in front of the little maple we planted a few years ago...

The weather held out but it was cold! Some friends trick-or-treated with us, and we had a lot of fun. Our development is new and has a *ton* of kids, so it's always hopping on Halloween. There's a family that owns a bakery and they always give out huge, beautifully decorated cookies. For some reason the kids don't like them so Dave and I are in luck!

I've been sewing on the binding of my Christmas quilt. I love doing that, I know some people don't but it's so relaxing to me, to sit on the couch with a cozy quilt on my lap while I'm actually doing something productive. I get a bit done at a time so I should be done in a few days...I'm not in a rush. Today I took down the Halloween decorations...can't wait to get the Christmas ones out in a few weeks!

Oh, check out this cute little lamp I got last week. It's made from an antique bobbin, and it's got a sweet silicone candle bulb.

Cute, right? And I didn't think $6.99 was bad at all. The shop where I got it (Goose and Gander, no website that I know of) has the nicest stuff. It's dangerous.

Enjoy your day!